Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Grape Picker, 20x16, Oil Painting on Canvas of Portuguese Woman in the Azores

I did this painting years ago when I lived in the Azores Islands, which are Portuguese Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The people were very hard-working, and this woman was typical of our industrious Portuguese acquaintances. Life was not easy for them, but they were lovely, hospitable people. Our maid was like part of our family and it was heartbreaking when we left, although we never lost touch.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Zen Lizard, Pen and Ink Drawing, 8x10 Matted Zentangle-Inspired, Black and White

Why didn't I think of this before? Reptiles are great for zentangling, and I really enjoyed doing this one. Can you see what he's looking at? That ladybug is doomed. She'd better fly away home, and be quick about it.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Zen Pineapple, Pen and Ink Drawing, Zentangle-Inspired 8x10 Matted

Our friend Dave has a green thumb. He grows very healthy pineapples, and when I saw this one with the jaunty top of gorgeous leaves I started drawing patterns in my mind. One of these days maybe I'll do a big drawing like this, and the more complicated the better. It's my moment of Zen.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Zennacle, 8x10 Pen and Ink Drawing, Black and White Fantasy Art

I am  becoming obsessed with tree designs. When I paint in oils I have to see the finished painting in my mind before I start. When I do zentangle drawings I just let the pen take me where it may. I may decide to draw a tree or a bird, but after the initial outline the whole creation is about patterns and values. It just gradually grows until I am satisfied with the result. I highly recommend it as a meditative exercise with sometimes surprising results.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cruising for Breakfast, 10x8 Oil Painting on Canvas

The time to catch pelicans cruising over the waves is early morning or dusk. That's feeding time for marine creatures, which is the cue for humans to stay out of the water. Sharks do make mistakes now and then. They don't really find people very tasty.

I love the way pelicans look flying over the water so gracefully. Then when they are just sitting around they are the most unattractive, awkward creatures--drab fellows with very big mouths. They remind me of some Congressmen I know.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Yellow Plumerias, 10 x 10 Original Oil Painting on Gallery-Wrapped Canvas

Sometimes I wonder if my subjects are too varied, or if my media are too diverse. I display on this blog and other websites my array of oil paintings, collages, and zentangles; my subject matter is landscape, seascape, still life, floral, wildlife, figurative, abstract and fantasy. A quote from the late Robert Genn gave me heart. He said:

"If an artist underestimates capability or goes too long with outworn motifs, interest fades and motivation fails. Complexity, nuance, even novelty, need to be consciously added to the mix."

Sameness on a blog is boring, so I will keep trying to grow and change it up now and then. I suppose my floral painting above is not the best illustration for this discussion, since it is a realistic flower painting, but I don't think it's too ho-hum, do you?


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Flight, 5x7 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, Seascape with Bird

This shot was so lucky--it's so hard to see what you're shooting with a digital camera when facing the sun. It was early morning, and I caught this pelican flying solo right in front of the sun, as though in a spotlight. I am posting the original photo below just to prove it. Another problem with a digital camera is that photos that are facing the sun tend to darken everything around the bright light, so I added color in my painting to compensate for that. The photo is not a black-and-white shot in spite of the way it looks.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Alexandra, 5x7 Oil Painting on Canvas, Scene in English Garden


My sister took this picture of our friend Alexandra during the week of her wedding. I was struck by the colors, the pose, and her reflection in the water (I'm a sucker for reflections). I broke the rules of composition by placing her smack in the middle top half of the picture, and I like it. Her beautiful red hair is the piece de resistance.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fairy Cottage, 8x10 Pen and Ink Drawing, Zentangle-Inspired

When I am making up my own little fantasy world like this it is almost as good as reading fairy tales as a child. I start with a simple drawing, then let the patterns take me where they want to go. I try to use different values to add interest and form. 

I put my drawing in a double mat, which really gives it a nice finished look. It is ready to frame now.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Raindrops on My Window, 6x6 Original Oil Painting on Canvas Panel, Floral Still Life Daily Painting

$99, Click to Purchase
I decided to do a small floral still life in a loose style. When I finished, I hated it. I grabbed my palette knife and started scraping it, then I thought, "This looks very pretty." It looked like a window with rain on it, so I went with that. I added droplets and streaks of rain running down the window, and now I have a "mood" painting of a view through a wet window.